Thanks for all the kind words in your avalanche of comments on the previous “blogiversary” post. It’s humbling to know you’re all out there reading this stuff — I’ll try to make it worth your time.
As for comment mechanics, to prevent spam and other unpleasantness all comments have to be reviewed and approved by a human. Thus, your comments will have some kind of delay before they go public, and more, I’ll turn the comments feature on and off according to our time resources here at WildSnow.com world headquarters.
Backcountry Avalanche Death
My condolences to friends and family of Patrick Niedringhaus, the 18-year-old boy who died yesterday near Torrys peak in central Colorado. While the vast majority of avalanche victims have some avalanche education, it appears that Patrick and his companion were pretty much clueless. They had no rescue gear, and were obviously in the wrong place at the wrong time.
It amazes me that Patrick and his friend had the wherewithall to winter camp (they were out overnight) and attempt a semi-technical climb on a Colorado fourteener — but had no avalanche rescue gear and little or no training. Sounds like a case of testosterone poisoning if there ever was one. Avalanche educators in Colorado are trying hard to bring basic snow safety training to youth such as Patrick, but coverage is spotty. Should some basic snow safety awareness training be included in public education? One wonders…
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WildSnow.com publisher emeritus and founder Lou (Louis Dawson) has a 50+ years career in climbing, backcountry skiing and ski mountaineering. He was the first person in history to ski down all 54 Colorado 14,000-foot peaks, has authored numerous books about about backcountry skiing, and has skied from the summit of Denali in Alaska, North America’s highest mountain.